Microsoft, the United States software giant is all set to take on the alleged scammers who are contacting people and pretending to be representing the company and thereby offering counterfeit technology support. These people will call the customers of Microsoft pretending to carry out some technological update and take over their home or personal computer. Once they have control over their computer, they will make some changes to highlight problems with the system and demand money to get the issue fixed. There are instances wherein customers have reported about viruses being installed by these so-called tech support callers. According to the software giant, they have received nearly 65,000 complaints from the customers related to the tech support scams since May 2014. The company is all set to take legal action against many firms who have been accused of misusing the company’s name in these kinds of cases.
These kinds of scams have been around for a very long time wherein callers have peddled about pointless security issues and tricked people into spending thousands of pounds/dollars to get the non-existent computer problems to be solved out. There has been an increase in instances where these fake technicians have been able to gain access to the computer of the people remotely as well. When they have access to the computer, they can steal financial, personal, as well as installed virus and malware on the computer. In some cases, people have received calls from people claiming to be from Microsoft, others have been tricked into signing for technical support through bogus web ads. The company has already raised the alarm that these scammers will get highly active during the Christmas season. They stated that as the holiday season is a very popular time where the customers indulge in online activities like shopping, charity donation, and travel packages.
The company added that older people are needed to be more cautious. Even though these tech scammers have not discriminated in terms of their attacking, they have shown a preference towards older people as they are more vulnerable to these kinds of activities. The US Federal Trade Commission had filed a legal case last month in Florida against a company, which was using adverts to scare believe about having a virus in their computers and selling them valueless services. Even in the UK, the National Trading Standards has taken legal action against a person, Mohammed Khalid Jamil from Luton, who had hired people from an Indian call center to call people and falsely tell them about some serious computer problem. He was order to pay £5,665 as compensation as well as £13,929 in prosecution costs. He even got four-month suspended jail sentence.
The Software Giant has issues out some tips for the customers to avoid falling prey to these scams:
- Always ask if the service has any fee or subscription associated. If it does, disconnect the call.
- Please confirm the third part is legitimate before giving control to your computer.
- Always take down the information of the callers and incase of any issues, report to the local authorities.
- Do not provide any financial information to anyone claiming to be from Microsoft support.